“Arts education isn’t something we add on after we’ve achieved other priorities like raising test scores and getting kids into college. It’s actually critical for achieving those priorities in the first place."
~ Michelle Obama, First Lady (2008-2016)
Wilkes Playmakers offers theatre education classes for all ages and skill levels. Most classes are offered from September through April. A variety of flexible payment options are available including tuition assistance.
Class schedules will be posted soon.
Broadway Babies ( ages 2-5)
Choice of two sessions per week Thursday evenings / Friday mornings
This is a “mommy / daddy/ grandparent and me” type of introduction to the magic of theatre for ages 2-5. We will be teaching simple routines to songs from popular musicals as well as acting out some of the most loved children’s stories and fables. All lessons are designed to get the imagination started while inspiring active movement, storytelling, creative thinking and enjoyment of the theatre arts. Emphasis will be upon encouraging interactions with other children, being playful and building self-confidence. Routines are led by instructor and enable the family member to join in and share the experience with their child. Instructional time is 45 minutes with an additional time afterwards. devoted to playtime for kids while parents can socialize over a cup of tea or coffee. Minimal enrollment of 4 and maximum of 10 children per class. Introductory rate of $5 per session per family for first year. Attendance is flexible.
Storybook Theatre ( grades K-2) Weekly
Theatre games, improvisational exercises, literature-based character study, and the development of their ideas into skits will help our youngest school-age students explore the world of theatre. Imaginative play will be combined with basic vocal and stage movement techniques. Students will learn basics of theatre discipline (respecting other performers, following basic group instructions and honoring the art of telling a story to an audience). Minimal enrollment of 4 required. 60 minutes per class. $40 per month. Class will end with a public performance in collaboration with older elementary students.
Adventure Theatre ( grades 3 – 5) Weekly
Development of the child as a dramatic artist will continue through movement and voice training, improvisational exercises and age appropriate theatre games. Students will begin character and plot study by examining favorite children’s literature and other familiar stories and devising short skits from these. Basic theatre discipline will be incorporated into all exercises and games. Emphasis will be upon students gaining confidence in their ability to work together to create a theatrical experience. Basics of technical theatre will be interspersed throughout the year, giving each student an age-appropriate introduction to set, lighting, sound and costuming. 60 minutes per class. $40 per month. Minimum of 4 students enrolled. Class will end with a public performance in collaboration with classes for other school age students.
Spotlight Theatre ( grades 6-8) - Weekly
Whether they are new to theatre or veteran performers, this course will offer something to challenge and inspire each child. Advanced theatre games, more challenging acting and improvisational exercises and beginning scene study will help each student focus upon developing their natural abilities onstage. Basic technical theatre skills will be highlighted at various points in the class in order to give students a chance to understand basic principles of stage sound and lighting, set construction, props and costumes. Students will be given a hands-on opportunity to explore areas of technical theatre. 90 minutes per class. $48 per month. Minimum of 4 students enrolled. Class will end with a public performance in collaboration with classes for other school age students.
Improvisation, Character and Creating ( grades 9-12) Seasonal or Saturday 9:30 am – 12:30 pm
Advanced theatre exercises from famed instructor Violo Spolin as well as scene study will be used to strengthen acting technique and presentation. Review of basic vocal and movement for the stage will be used as needed depending upon experience of the students. This course will also introduce elements of designing, managing, writing, and producing plays. Introduction and beginning hands-on experience in aspects of technical theatre will also be incorporated. Class will end with a showcase of scene work as well as technical skills . This class will meet twice per month for a total of 6 hours per month. Minimum 4 enrolled. Fee $48 per month.
Student Directing: Grades 6-12 (Limited to 6 students) Weekly September – December 2019
This class looks at what is involved in the directing process before you even get to auditions. For the student director, this means starting at square one: What does a director do? What kind of leader will you be in rehearsal? What are the steps in directing a play? Student Directors will learn how to identify plays and publishers as well as the basics regarding licensing requirements; how to do a basic script analysis and how to hold successful auditions. Emphasis will be placed upon rehearsal planning, blocking and giving appropriate and supportive feedback to cast and crews. Each student director will be responsible for directing a 10-minute play as final project in the spring. Class 2 hours per week Fee $40 per month.
Adult Theatre Arts
This class will be for those 18 and older regardless of experience. This class can enhance individual’s public speaking skills by emphasis upon preparation, vocal projection, thinking on one’s feet and increased animation of presentation. Theatrically, this class will focus upon scene study, script analysis for character development, use of voice and movement to convey character, and development of skills of observation and improvisation to build a character. This class will review stage basics of movement and vocals as needed depending upon experience of the group. Additional opportunities to explore basic acting for film and / or introduction to technical theatre will also be available to this class for an additional workshop fee if requested. Minimum enrollment of 4. Class 1.5 hours per week. Fee $48 per month.